Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) chief Dr. Balram Bhargava on Friday said deliberations are underway and they are reviewing scientific data to formulate a policy on administering booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Regarding the efficacy of the present vaccines against the new coronavirus variant Omicron, Dr. Balram Bhargava said the ICMR and DBT (Department of Biotechnology) are working together to culture the virus. "We are testing the efficacy of the vaccines against the Omicron variant of COVID-19," he added.
Even as the cases of Omicron variant are increasing rapidly, the ICMR chief the predominant strain in India is still Delta. "Therefore, we need to continue with the same strategy of COVID appropriate behaviour and ramping up of vaccination," he added.
Ahead of the upcoming Christmas and New Year festivities, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said the States and UTs have been advised to impose restrictions like night curfew, regulating large gatherings, etc.
Citing the World Health Organisation's findings, he said Omicron has significant growth advantage over Delta and is spreading fast through communities with a doubling time of 1.5 to 3 days.
The world is witnessing a fourth surge in COVID-19 cases and having an overall positivity rate of 6.1 per cent, the Union Health Secretary added.
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